Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name

By Rokt

Have you ever seen the show Cheers? Chances are you’re at least familiar with the theme song, whose chorus opens with the line “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name”. And it could simply be that you’re familiar with it because it’s from one of the most famous sitcoms of all time, but at least in part it has to do with the relatability of that phrase. Human beings are social creatures by nature, and we crave interactions with people that know us, that are familiar with what makes each of us who we are.

If not a bar, there’s probably a coffee shop that you go to often enough that the barista recognizes you, and maybe they even know your regular order. It’s those instances that can really transform your buying experience and turn it into something memorable and special. The problem in modern day society is how do we convert those quintessentially human interactions into a digital space?

Easier said than done, and this is only growing in importance. Ecommerce is continuing to expand its role in our lives; Forrester found that ecommerce grew 30% in 2020, with online sales on pace to reach 71% of all Retail sales in the U.S. by 2021. Over the course of the pandemic, as the weeks turned into months of repetition, the rituals we took up became deeply ingrained, which is why the sweeping changes in consumer behavior that have taken root during the pandemic are likely to last well into the future. And we can see that not only in the growth of sites like Amazon, but of meal service kits like Blue Apron, food delivery services like Doordash, online health companies like Vitamin Shoppe, and even grocery delivery services like Instacart. Anything we could possibly want we can get shipped to our doors, and this phenomenon is only limited by our imagination; the only thing constant about ecommerce is that it is always changing. The proliferation of online services has pervaded almost every facet of our lives, without any sign of stopping. And while that has done wonders for convenience, are we losing some part of the human experience? 

Human beings crave the personal touch in life; be that in intimate settings like giving thoughtful birthday gifts, or getting advice from someone who works at a clothing store. But when it comes to something like shopping online, for some reason we’re lacking heavily. “For some reason” isn’t exactly the truth – we know the reason: it’s because it’s easy and almost expected to feel the human connection in face-to-face interactions, but no one has ever claimed a computer screen was “human”. And ecommerce companies aren’t helping this either; even when they try to inject some semblance of human contact they only personalize to the point of “Hi, [insert name here]”. And for customers this just isn’t enough; Forrester found that 91% of customers are more likely to shop brands who recognize and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. But what happens to these brands that can’t provide them with more human, personalized experiences? 

Simply put, they’re going to be left by the wayside. When every ecommerce company has a marketing campaign specifically to curb shopping cart abandonment, ecommerce companies are only as good as their last interaction, so they have to make each one count. However, the crutch of these low-effort pseudo personalization tactics, “cookies”, are dying. And while this may feel like a nail is being hammered into these brands’ coffins, the death of the cookie isn’t something that should be feared. There are solutions that far exceed cookies in terms of providing people with relevant shopping experiences. Most ecommerce companies are heavily leaning on innovative tech solutions to help them reach consumers and personalize their experiences online by making every interaction relevant and seamless. And that’s where Rokt comes in. 

Rokt is the solution that Ecommerce companies are utilizing to provide their customers with relevant offers from top brands like Live Nation, Lands End, Hulu, Wayfair, Groupon and more. Rokt uses extensive machine learning, powered by more than five billion transactions to determine the perfect offer for each customer. And Rokt utilizes the psychology of the purchasing journey, showing offers during the Transaction Moment when customers are most likely to redeem an offer. This creates the best outcomes for all parties involved; a supplementary revenue stream for ecommerce companies, a powerful customer acquisition channel for advertisers, and an improved customer experience. Providing relevance is the key to Rokt’s ability to succeed with both customers and brands, because it is exactly what consumers want.

As discussed previously, ecommerce is only going to have a greater role in the lives of consumers, and a greater share of purchases are going to be made online. In the US,  ecommerce is expected to have an annual growth rate of 15% for the next four years. When 54% of customers will spend more and 65% of customers would buy again from a brand that presents them with relevant offers, that’s a big chunk of missed revenue for online businesses. Too often the focus for ecommerce brands is on getting their customers through the buying journey as fast as possible, simplifying as much as they can. And while this is an important step, these brands have to take an experiential approach by building new ways to interact with customers on a human level. This can be done in a few ways, but the clear winner is in providing them with relevancy. 60% of consumers are less loyal to brands after just one poor experience with a company’s website or app, and it’s five times cheaper to market to an existing customer than to conquer a new one, meaning that it is worth it to put in the effort for each customer. 

And there’s a wealth of first party data available such as feedback, purchase history, gender, location, age, and a number of other factors that can be used to flesh out each customer, humanize their online presence, and provide them with messages, offers and experiences that that actually want to see, not just those that you think they want to see. Rokt’s AI helps ecommerce companies use their own data to create a more relevant and personalized experience for each customer. When it comes to ecommerce, fewer offers is actually more; much like an eight page menu in a diner, when faced with too many options it can be difficult for consumers to decide on any single one. It’s important to be aware of this paradox of choice, Rokt only shows customers the top three messages that are most likely to resonate with them. A solution that can only be done when that data is properly used, with meticulous machine learning powered by AI to create the solutions and information that result in a truly relevant experience for the consumer.

Unfortunately for Cheers, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name” doesn’t cut it for ecommerce anymore. Only true white glove service where people really feel known and heard, where they’re provided with real value and a worthwhile shopping experience is going to mimic that human touch and take a concrete step to truly humanizing ecommerce.

Want to learn more about how Rokt can achieve this for you and your brand? Talk to an expert to learn more!